Thanks to the 2018 Agricultural Act (Farm Bill). Industrial hemp has become federally legal to grow and process! This makes it possible for the growing and selling of hemp legal in all 50 states. In 2014, a Farm Bill was passed that established regulatory regimes or pilot programs in states that wished to grow hemp. In 2015 the Omnibus Spending Law was passed and prohibited federal interference with state-authorized hemp pilot projects and interstate transfer of hemp products. As a result, a vast amount of research was gathered on hemp.
- CBD, for research purposes, was derived from Industrial Hemp, not marijuana
- Industrial Hemp used for fiber, hemp plastic is tested for < 1% THC
- Industrial Hemp used for therapeutic purposes is tested for < 0 .3% THC
Laws that made Industrial Hemp Legal
2014 Farm Bill Act, Section 7606
- The farm bill is a congressional act passed every eight years.
- Section 7606 was the only federal hemp legislation that includes “floral extracts (flower)” in the definition, the flower being where most of the CBD is produced.
- Section 7606 was the only federal hemp legislation that eliminated cultivated hemp and related hemp products from being defined within the Controlled Substance Act.
- Under the program, the growing of hemp was not considered the same as growing marijuana.
- Legally grown hemp, through Section 7606, did not fall under the jurisdiction of the DEA.
- Agencies had to follow congressional ruling (despite DEA’s attempts to pass contradictory acts), as they cannot counter Congress; confirmed by the Acting Head of the DEA at a Congressional hearing in April of 2017
Omnibus Appropriations Act
- Budgetary act passed every year.
- Prohibited the use of federal funds to stop processing, transport, sale and use of industrial hemp grown in the United States under the 2014 Farm Bill Act.
North Carolina Senate Bill 313
- Passed on October 31, 2015.
- Recognized the importance and legitimacy of industrial hemp research in compliance with portions of the 2014 Farm Bill Act and to help bolster North Carolina’s agriculture employment.
- Formation of the Industrial Hemp Commission began in North Carolina.
North Carolina House Bill 92
- Passed on July 11, 2016.
- Expanded the membership of the Industrial Hemp Commission through granting the Commission rulemaking authority, a stipulation being that industrial hemp research programming must be done in conjunction with State and land grant universities, authorizing licenses and research purposes, creating civil penalties as necessary, and amending the state’s definition of marijuana to allow for production of industrial hemp
2017 was a landmark year in North Carolina’s history as industrial hemp crops were planted legally for the first time in over 80 years. Over 120 farmers planted over 2,500 acres. North Carolina has the potential to be the leading producer of Industrial Hemp in the United States.
The 2014 Federal Farm Bill protected hemp and CBD products derived from hemp by stating that as long as CBD products are derived from industrial hemp containing less than 0.3% THC, they are completely legal.
The 2018 Federal Farm Bill legalizes Hemp in all 50 states. Hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act. The Federal Government will produce their own regulatory plans soon. Each state will also develop their own regulatory plans for hemp and CBD soon. There are several multinational companies that have already invested money in the CBD industry. It is doubtful that the FDA would enforce its position, as CBD has abundant support from the public as well as private businesses. The World Health Organization has stated that CBD is safe to use and has no public health risks.
At this time, the FDA has a non-binding position on hemp-derived CBD and CBD isolate. The FDA is providing guidance at this time. This guidance represents the FDA’s current thinking. It is not a rule, per se, as the regulatory plans have not been spelled out yet. A public meeting will be held soon to include stakeholders to discuss safety, cultivation challenges, and regulatory concerns. The FDA’s main concern at this point is taking action against products that are unlawfully marketed. The FDA is focused on CBD products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure diseases. This is considered unlawful. The FDA promises to make pathways towards the lawful marketing of CBD products more efficient. The FDA may approve CBD as an ingredient for food. At this point in time, the FDA will most likely continue to hold its current position of holding its current position without enforcing it.